Wise Words from a fellow Celebrant, Rachel Mueller-Lust
So you are getting married—welcome to the wonderful, exciting and crazy world of planning your wedding! If you have decided to have your ceremony at your reception venue, you need someone to officiate your wedding. You might be thinking of asking a close friend or relative to officiate because they know you really well, but I encourage you to instead consider a celebrant. Here are the top ten reasons why you should hire a celebrant for your wedding!
#1. A celebrant is trained in ceremony creation. Well, yeah, that is kind of the definition of a celebrant. But isn’t it great to know that when you hire a celebrant, you are getting someone who has education and experience about what it takes to create a ceremony? Celebrants have knowledge about the structure and all elements of ceremony to ensure you are marking the important occasion appropriately and with legality.
#2. Celebrants love to create custom ceremonies. Have it your way. Not just for burgers, your ceremony can be whatever you want. Perhaps you have an unusual theme in mind or you just want the ceremony to reflect your individuality. No matter what you imagine, a celebrant works with you to design a ceremony that is exclusively for you.
#3. Did you know that celebrants are trained in symbolism and love to speak to the symbolism for just about—everything? Perhaps you really want to include handcrafted chairs in your ceremony because you are a wood-worker? A chair can symbolize a personal throne, a divine spot for an honored person to sit upon. Symbolism adds depth and beauty to your ceremony and celebrants can’t get enough of it. Of course, it is all about you (see #2), so if you want to downplay the symbolism, the celebrant can do that too.
#4. Celebrants write and then follow a script. That means there are no surprises because you know exactly what will be said and you have approved every word in advance. The celebrant will stick to the plan, unlike Uncle Charley, if you had asked him to officiate, who might go on and on about when you were a little girl. (Of course you can’t prevent Uncle Charley from giving his speech when he toasts you at the reception, but that is expected and welcome!)
#5. Celebrants love to write! And that is a good thing because celebrants write everything from scratch. None of this choose a, b, or c for your vows and a, b or c for your readings. A celebrant takes lots of time to write a flowing and thematic ceremony just for you. In fact, the time spent just to write a wedding can be 15–20 hours. Having someone who really enjoys writing matters; your ceremony will be wonderful because of the care the celebrant takes to write it.
#6. Most often, celebrants choose this profession as a second (or third or fourth) career. This means that they have gathered a fair amount of wisdom from work and life experience. And they were probably drawn to this “love” work because they are romantics. I, for one, fall in love with every one of my couples and their love story. I could never tire of hearing proposal stories.
#7. A Celebrant takes the time to get to know you. Starting with an in-person meeting to see if you have the right connection, the celebrant wants to know you. Celebrants really listen to what you envision for your ceremony. They listen to learn about you and your style and they provide unlimited consultation to make sure that they are aligned with your vision for your wedding.
#8. Maybe you and your partner want rituals in your ceremony that reflect your upbringing, culture or religion, but you don’t know where to begin. No problem—celebrants love to research! They will learn all they can about you (see #7), and they will either draw from their vast training and experience with weddings or they will research and discover rituals that reflect your background.
#9. Celebrants are orators. They are talented speakers who are able to moderate their voice to suit the occasion and the emotional changes throughout the ceremony. A wedding is very much a performance, and celebrants are storytellers who present your love story with elegance and as much or as little formality as you want. They will lead your ceremony with authority and presence.
#10. A celebrant is like a wedding planner for the ceremony. That means they think of everything about the ceremony, starting from your entrance, to your kiss and jubilant exit. They include blocking and staging in their script (who stands where and does what), just like a play. They lead your rehearsal to make sure that everyone in the wedding party is confident before the big day. The celebrant does everything possible (except fix the weather) to ensure that your wedding ceremony goes off without a hitch—but of course you are “hitched” by the end of the ceremony!
Your wedding is a momentous part of your life. You have selected the perfect venue and food and cake, gotten gorgeous flowers, hired an artistic photographer and you have everything to make sure you look radiant. Now hire a celebrant to design your dream ceremony. You will find that working with a celebrant is fun and you will have a heartfelt wedding ceremony to remember for the rest of your life.